Posts Tagged ‘Gem Spa East Village’

When rock album covers featured New York City

April 30, 2011

Remember album art—and hey, remember albums?

Back in the rock LP’s heyday, images of the city made it on many a front and back cover.

The New York locations for the cover art on The Doors’ Strange Days and The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan have gotten plenty of exposure.

But some cover shots and images deserves a second look.

Simon and Garfunkel’s first album was shot in the 53rd Street subway station. (Vintage trash can at left.)

When it came out in 1964 on the heels of Beatlemania, it bombed . . . then became a hit after a re-release two years later.

Art Garfunkel has said that they took hundreds of shots on the platform before finally getting the right one.

Gem Spa is still on the corner of Second Avenue and St. Marks Place, as it was when the New York Dolls posed there for the back of their 1973 first LP.

Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic cover was photographed in 1974 just inside Central Park off of Fifth Avenue.

That’s a real pretzel vendor working a snowy city day there, selling his “pretzles” at bargain-basement prices.

Second Avenue and St. Marks Place in 1985

January 27, 2011

Not too much in this photo has changed, strangely.

There’s 60-year-old B&H Dairy a bit down the block to the left, and Gem Spa at right, holding court as it has for 70 years on the corner, selling newspapers, magazines, and ice cream.

The photo ran in the May 1985 issue of East Village arts newspaper the East Village Eye. What I’d give to see their entire 1985 East Village map!